The Religious Technology Center is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 to serve as the keeper of the religious texts and revered symbols of the Church of Scientology. The Religious Technology Center (RTC) is owned and operated by members of the leadership of the Church of Scientology, however, it claims that it stands as an independent organization intended to protect the logos, texts, canon, and technologies of the religion of Scientology as a whole. The international headquarters of the organization is located on the northern side of Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA, in an iconic building bearing the Church’s name.
The RTC claims to primarily protect the Church’s
technologies and paths to enlightenment, while simultaneously protecting the
public from misuse of those same techniques.
From the headquarters in Los Angeles, the RTC engages in extensive
research and, when deemed necessary, litigation. They accept online and mailed “knowledge
reports” from both Scientology adherents and non-scientologists reporting
misuse of Scientology’s trademarks, technologies, scriptures, and more.
One of the most notable cases of the RTC auditing and
policing usage of the Church’s materials is the US District Court case of RTC v
Robin Scott and the Church of New Civilization.
The case was in litigation for over ten years, finally being dismissed
in early 1996 by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on the determination that
the RTC was “playing fast and loose” with the judicial system. Critics of the RTC’s behavior in this
incident claim that it is an example of the Church attempting to quash dissent
via legal means, while the RTC alleges that the Church of New Civilization used
stolen Scientology documentation to establish its teachings. In another notable case, RTC v. Lerma, the
judge presiding over the case determined that the lawsuit was intended to pursue
“the stifling of criticism and dissent of the practices of Scientology.” Despite these cases, the RTC has largely
pursued copyright and trademark cases in court.
The RTC is the subject of much internal dispute within
Scientology itself. Led by “Chairman of
the Board” David Miscavige, who also serves as the spiritual leader of the
Church of Scientology, the RTC has come under criticism by a number of
high-ranking ex-scientologists who allege that its function as a protector of
the purity of Scientology is an incomplete understanding. Of note, according to the Affidavit of Jesse
Prince, who previously served in the second highest position within the RTC,
the RTC is used to maintain complete control of the greater Church of
Scientology by the chairman David Miscavige.
André Tabayoyon, a previous Church of Scientology security officer,
additionally claims in his affidavit that because of the RTC’s legal power,
David Miscavige is able to wield considerable power over nearly every other organization